Sunday, June 30, 2019

South Carolina legislature cuts law school tuition by $5k to make it more competitive

The South Carolina state legislature earmarked $1.9 million of taxpayer money to the University of South Carolina School of Law for the purpose of lowering in-state tuition for each student by $5,100. It means the cost of tuition will drop from $29,608 - what it cost last year - to $24,508 for the 2019-20 academic year. The purpose of the tuition discount is to make the school more competitive with neighboring state law schools and in so doing, help recruit and retain the kind of students who will help improve the school's USNWR ranking. has more details:

Cash injection by lawmakers leads to law school tuition cut


South Carolina residents will pay less to go to the state's only public law school next year, with the full price of in-state tuition falling $5,100 next year at the University of South Carolina School of Law.


The State newspaper of Columbia reports that as the General Assembly injected money into public colleges and universities, they made a special effort to cut law school tuition.


House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Murrell Smith, a Sumter Republican, said lawmakers boosted spending at USC by $8 million this year, with the understanding that $1.9 million would specifically go to lower law school tuition. Smith said that when he was attending the law school leading up to his 1993 graduation, tuition was less than $4,000 a year.


"I literally could (work as a law) clerk during the school year and summer and pay my law school tuition," Smith said. "I know those days are gone, but ... we're not doing our young people any favors by leaving them with enormous debt."


The full tuition price for law students last year was $29,608. Now it will by $24,508. Some students pay less because of scholarships and financial aid.


While other South Carolina colleges and universities are raising tuition only modestly, the law school is only one so far to lower tuition for in-state students.


Law School Dean Robert Wilcox said South Carolina has been losing students to out-of-state law schools because of cost.


"When you go to school out of state, the odds increase dramatically that you will stay out of state for your career," Wilcox said. "This will keep more good students in South Carolina."


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